Johnny Depp files notice of appeal against Amber Heard


This combination of images shows Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia on May 24, 2022. (Both images via Jim Watson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images.)

Actor Johnny Depp filed court documents to appeal a judgment against him and in favor of his ex-wife Amber Heard. The documents — a notice of appeal, an appeal for the cost of bail and a letter of filing addressed to the Fairfax County Clerk, Virginia Circuit Court — are stamped as received at 9:37 a.m. Friday.

The notice of appeal reads: “Plaintiff and counterclaim defendant John C. Depp, II, by counsel, hereby appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals from all adverse judgments and final judgment order of this Circuit Court rendered on June 24, 2022.”

The appeal for bail costs says Depp is seeking “to satisfy all damages, costs and expenses that may be awarded to her in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, if she becomes aware of the claim.”

A Virginia jury found Heard defamed Depp through a 2018 Washington Post editorial in which Heard describes himself as a “public figure representing domestic violence” which occurred two years prior. Although the editorial did not name Depp, the jury found that he implicitly defamed him. (Heard was married to Depp from early 2015 to early 2017.)

The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages against Heard on June 1 of this year. A trial court judge reduced the amount of punitive damages to $350,000 in accordance with a cap mandated by state law.

Heard conversely won $2 million from Depp over claims that Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman defamed her.

The financial result was an $8.35 million balance owed by Heard to Depp. The public relations result was a clear message that Depp – to borrow a phrase from Shakespeare’s “King Lear” – was more sinful than sinning.

A source close to Depp told Law&Crime that the Virginia libel case “was an overwhelmingly positive verdict for Mr. Depp.”

This source also suggested that Depp felt compelled to file his own appeal because Heard had already filed his.

“The verdict speaks for itself, and Mr. Depp believes the time has come for both parties to move on with their lives and heal,” the source said. “But if Ms Heard is determined to continue the litigation by appealing the verdict, Mr Depp is filing a concurrent appeal to ensure that the full case and all relevant legal issues are considered by the Court of Appeal.[s].”

As Law & Crime previously reported, Heard filed its own notice of appeal Thursday.

“We believe the court made errors that precluded a just and fair First Amendment-compliant verdict,” Heard’s spokeswoman said alongside her own filing. “We are therefore appealing the verdict.”

Read Depp’s documents below:

Law&Crime Network’s coverage of Depp’s filings is here:

Angenette Levy of the Law&Crime Network contributed reporting.

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